Getting comfortable with being joyfully awkward

Last week, I tried to record my first podcast. I say “tried” because it was a failed attempt (ahem, note to self: be sure to silence cell phone before recording). That’s not the point, though. I hadn’t planned to publish the episode—rather, I was starting to get used to something that’s unfamiliar. I was attempting to make a transition into a different way of working, of interacting, of engaging.

My failed podcast episode will never see the light of a smartphone. I’ve tried a lot of things that have never surfaced. But hey, I’m trying. It’s new, but isn’t that the point?

I’m doing the same with video. If you’re my friend on social media, you might have seen that I recorded a video recently about my work. Here it is, if you missed it:

Let’s be honest: I’m a little awkward. I get more at ease as the video goes on, but recording this video was extremely uncomfortable for me. And I’m OK with that.

What’s cool about this video, though, is there are so many flashes of fun and joy. Just look at this:

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I’m having a good time. I might not be perfectly polished, but I’m being real. And yeah, super awkward. But joyfully awkward.

That doesn’t mean I don’t show up with excellence. No way. Excellence will always be central to my work; it will always be the goal and measure. But excellence is only ever possible if you show up and do the work—if you engage before it comes naturally.

In the past, I never wanted to show the behind-the-scenes of transition and growth. I needed to maintain a perfect exterior, showing only polished professionalism. I still consider myself to be, at my core, a professional, but here’s the thing: when I open up, when I get real, I engage more deeply with those around me. I get to be me, and you know what? I like me. And I’m having a lot more fun.

Have you ever felt such pressure to perform—to be perfect—that you can’t fully engage with the moment? Be honest. Even the most confident person has insecurities that prevent them from being fully present at all times.

A few questions for this week:

  1. Where do I feel I am least “real” in my life and work?
  2. What is holding me back from fully engaging, from being me?
  3. What is one thing I can do to show up more authentically?

And then after you answer these, do number 3—actually engage in the thing you defined. If it involves a video, audio, blog post, or something else publishable, share it. Then tag me on Facebook or Twitter so I can share it, too. If you want to really stretch yourself, use #joyfullyawkward. (Or you could use my daughter’s favorite: #hashbrowns. I’m not really sure what that means, but it’s fun.)

The world wants to know the real you, and so do I.

Have a joyfully awkward week!

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